Eleven years ago this week, 309 South Cedros Avenue was abuzz … delivery trucks unloading, display cabinets being installed, artwork going up, computers booting … excitement was in the air! SoLo was about to open its doors!
SoLo was the brainchild of Carole Carden, owner of Del Mar’s beloved and sorely missed Esmerelda Books & Coffee. Carole and I had boutiques in the Cedros Trading Company, which was a collective of about forty merchants, previously occupying the building that houses SoLo now.
In 2000, the building was sold and the Trading Company dissolved by spring of 2001. The new owner of this 10,000 sf warehouse enlisted the services of acclaimed architect Jennifer Luce to “gut” the warehouse and build it out to accommodate his landscape design studio and a retail operation to front the space. He then approached the owner of his favorite bookstore, asking her to bring an outpost of Esmerelda to Cedros Avenue. But with the book business suffering, Carole had a better idea. Take the standout merchants from the Cedros Trading Company (all looking for new outlets), bring in a few notable newcomers, and form a more selective collective of about eight merchants to offer a truly unique and diversified shopping experience. The result is SoLo, the standout of the bustling Cedros Design District for eleven years now!
The 4,000 sf space is anchored by Carole’s perfectly curated art/design/architecture/lifestyle book selections. SoLo offers diverse styles of home furnishings and accessories, antiques and art, cards and gifts, soaps and candles, toys … something for everyone. Most of our core group is still intact and I’m so proud to be a part of the talented and creative team that is SoLo!
I kept hearing, “you don’t know All Saints?!” I’d go on the website of this British High Street clothing company & didn’t get what I was missing. But then I was stopped short in my tracks while walking around SoHo in NYC, when I came across a dramatic storefront window displaying a massive grid of antique sewing machines. I walked inside All Saints to find a jaw-dropping space, filled to the brim with industrial eye-candy! It’s really over-the-top … sewing machines as far as the eye can see, walls of old spools, thousands of cobbler’s shoe forms, huge industrial textile mill machines, great vintage worktables & steel shelving. It was chock-a-block with clothes, too (which is what they sell), but I was blinded by the decor. I don’t know if all the stores are this extreme, but with over seventy stores worldwide, I can’t imagine that there’s an antique sewing machine left to be had anywhere else. A must see for any industrial design lover!
We’ve been lucky to have contributed to the eclectic décor of hot Southern California restaurants, Cucina Urbana in San Diego and Cucina Enoteca in Irvine. Our original lighting handmade from vintage cages, baskets, wire forms and blown glass drops illuminate the dining rooms and bars of these trendy spots. After fielding numerous requests from diners about the unique items that fill her restaurants, owner Tracy Borkum decided it was time to offer the furniture, lighting & accessories for sale, available to order from a menu at the host stand and also online.
I’ll take the short rib pappardelle with a barstool on the side, please.
The striking home of one of my good clients was featured on the cover of the Los Angeles Times Home Section recently. David, a doctor, and his wife Linda favored the clean lines of vintage medical, laboratory & industrial furnishings. Throughout the remodel, I sourced 1940’s architect’s stools (all a little different), early medical lighting, military surplus tables, industrial cabinets, hutches & shelving units. All my finds were meticulously refurbished and reworked to adapt to their contemporary Del Mar home.